Why I am a fascist (according to my liberal friend) *UPDATED*

As I’ve related in past posts, my liberal friend repeatedly calls me a fascist or Nazi for supporting the Tea Party.  Aside from being really rude, these appellations bewilder me.  The historical record is very clear that both the Italian fascists and the Germany Nazis were socialists.  Socialism, by definition, means the concentration of political and economic power in the hands of a single government entity:

Any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

Certainly all governments that have self-identified as socialist have been run along these lines, to a greater or lesser extent.  Without exception, the more extreme the socialism within a given nation, the more tyrannical the power structure within that nation.  That, after all, is how “fascism” and “Naziism” got to be dirty words — because the political collective exerted violent control over its own citizens and, eventually, sought to exert that same control over citizens of other nations.

Given that the Tea Party is about lessening, rather than increasing, government’s power over its citizens, calling me a fascist or a Nazi seems like a misnomer of almost heroic prop0rtions.  Yet my liberal friend is well-educated, as are most of the other so-called liberals tossing those insults around with such abandon.

One is tempted to dismiss the repeated use of these insults with the classic Princess Bride put-down:  “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”  To do so is a mistake.  Just because the Progressives and so-called liberals keep misusing the word does not mean that they don’t ascribe meaning to the word.  I think I’ve finally figured out what that meaning is.

Tea Partiers advocate lower taxes and less government spending.  As to the latter, because they aren’t anarchists, they recognize that the federal government needs to engage in certain types of expenditures in order to have a functional nation.

The most obvious necessary expenditure is national security, which gets an inordinate amount of space in the Constitution.  We also expect the federal government to provide a stable economic environment (commerce and banking) and to exercise itself to prevent endemic and epidemic illnesses.  We’ve acknowledged the need for a national police force (the FBI), although we leave most of our policing to local government.

I’m sure that all of you, with little effort, can think of other basic functions that federal and local governments need to fulfill.  The bottom line is that Tea Partiers do not want those basic government services to end, although I’m sure that they’d like to see waste cut down, whether that’s through better management, or through the services of competitive private companies whose work is merely overseen by the government.  (But that’s a post for another day.)

Once you remove from the equation the essentials of governing, you’re left with only one thing:  entitlements.  Tea Partiers are attacking entitlements.  That is what makes us fascists or Nazis.  It’s not that we want to exert more control over citizens in the traditional tyrannical socialist (fascist/Nazi) sense, it’s that we want to limit entitlements.

By the way, we tend to toss around the phrase “entitlements” with fairly careless abandon.  It’s worthwhile to think about what an entitlement is:  It means paying money or services to someone, not because he has earned that payment, but because he deserves it merely for being himself.  (I’m very familiar with this concept, because my children have a massive sense of entitlement.)

Some entitlements are almost certainly a reasonable part of a decently functioning nation.  A humane, moral nation doesn’t allow a 90 year old to starve to death in a gutter merely because he hasn’t worked enough lately to pay the rent.  (Although the North Koreans are happy to do this with people who don’t sing the party tune loudly enough or, worse, who fail to contribute to the state any more.)

Since the 1960s, though, we’ve extended the notion of entitlements far past the minimal requirements of human decency.  A perfect example is welfare.  By the early 1990s, welfare was a huge leviathan, with families that had been on welfare for generations.  The generational aspect of welfare wasn’t a result of a poor economy; it was the result of an entitlement mindset.  Back in the 1960s, just as blacks were beginning to make economic strides, well-meaning social workers, flush with the notion of the Great Society, flooded black communities, urging blacks not to work:  Let the government pay you.  It owes you for the insults that have been visited against blacks since they were first forcibly shipped to these shores.  For many families, not working became normative, because they were entitled not to work.

For those of you wondering why I’m mentioning welfare here, in 2010, when “welfare as we know it” ended it around 1994, I do so for two reasons. First, the Dems are using the bad economy to reinstate the welfare rolls. Second, many of you who were around during the 1994 debate must surely remember that the Left assured Americans that, if “welfare as we know it” ended, Americans would be dying in the streets, a la Calcutta or Ethiopia. Of course, that’s not what happened. When the entitlement was cut, able bodied people who were getting money, not because of any inherent failure in their ability to earn but because of a sense of entitlement, began to work. The world did not end, but the welfare rolls shrank, and the federal government shucked off some of its debt.

There is no doubt that attacking entitlements now will cause a temporary dislocation to those who have come to believe that they have no obligation in this life other than to sit back and take government money just because of who they are.  In the end, very few of those feeding at the government trough are “entitled” to anything, and I weep no tears for their temporary hardship.  I do know, though, that cutting the federal government by cutting entitlements will decrease government power and government profligacy, both of which are what the Tea Partiers seek.

And if that makes me a fascist, so be it.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

UPDATE:  Here’s another example of a Leftist re-defining settled terms to suit his beliefs.

UPDATE II:  A graphic example of entitlements, and what happens when the spoiled brats think they’re about to lose them.

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Comments

  1. Danny Lemieux says

    I wouldn’t worry about Liberal /Lefty /Democrats calling you a fascist (a “friend” called you this?). For them, it’s merely a juvenile epithet, like saying “you have cooties” or “you wear kaka pants”. There’s no arguing with that other than suggesting they get back on their meds. Or, you might want to use Andrew Breitbart’s technique of asking them whether they can even define “fasicism”?
     
    With regard to the difference between “rights” and “entitlements”, Rush Limbaugh had the best description that I’ve heard to date, to whit, that “rights” are endowed by the creator and do not compromise the rights of others, whereas “entitlements” do compromise the rights of others, primarily because they require the confiscation of labor and property. In other words, receiving “entitlements” means living off of other people’s labor and money.
     
    Ordinarily, I would call entitlements “parasitism”, except that now it is evident that it is beginning to kill the host. For the record, I do not want to receive any entitlements – I only want what I have paid in….back….plus interest!

  2. says

    Ordinarily, I would call entitlements “parasitism”, except that now it is evident that it is beginning to kill the host. For the record, I do not want to receive any entitlements – I only want what I have paid in….back….plus interest!
    Word!
    My liberal friend doesn’t say I’m a fascist but gives the vibe that I am the scum of the earth because I vote “Rethuglican”. He’s known me from church and we have worked,  laughed, eaten and drank together, served together and our family lives have been entwined for more than two decades. I don’t give a rat’s ass how HE votes but it absolutely enrages him how I vote. Go figure.

  3. Charles Martel says

    I agree with Danny that a good tack to take is to ask liberals to define fascism. Given that so many of them are aliterate and do not read deeply or attentively, the hems and haws you’ll receive in return will tell you what you already know.

  4. SADIE says

    I rewriting your header, Bookworm, and adding the definition of a friend. Who goes there? Friend or Fascist 1. a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.

    2. a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.

    3. a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?

    4. a member of the same nation, party, etc. He’s no friend and you’re no fascist!

  5. Bill Smith says

    I was going to say pretty much what Danny said.
     
    I have also noticed what Soozer points out: Libs seem to have a need to denigrate, ridicule, demonize, and otherwise put down Conservatives. In fact, if you listen to the arguments of these supposedly educated people, they mostly consist of put downs. You’re wrong because you’re bad, and you’re bad because you’re wrong.
     
    These people are emotional thinkers, you see. Their emotions are what are most real and important to them, and that is why your well-reasoned, factual arguments fall on deaf ears. You’re not speaking their language. This is why they see nothing at all contradictory in calling you a nazi — a contraction of the German words for National Socialism — because you are against socialism. They even call Israelis nazis! But this makes sense to them, because they think like children.

  6. Mike Devx says

    I don’t understand why one hangs around with people who denigrate you, demonize you, castigate you.

    I sure hope your definition of ‘friend’ matches my definition of ‘acquantance’.  As Bill O’Reilly would ask, “Who’s looking out for you?”  These so-called friends, if they’re serious in their vituperation of you, are not your friends.   And they certainly won’t be looking out for you if the crap ever really does hit the fan.  Unless they’re joking when they keep putting you down like that… but it doesn’t sound to me as if they’re joking.  Look for them to disappear on you when the going gets tough.

  7. SADIE says

    Children grow up…libs are emotionally and intellectually paralyzed.  Feet nailed to the ground in a time warp, unable to move on, they insist on being nursed. Their teats are the Feds and is it any wonder, they’re the first to shout…’what about the children’ – ‘what about us’ is more like it. That is why when we try to engage them in a viable dialogue, we’re confronted with – I CAN’T HEAR YOU. Of course, they can’t hear us, they’ve got their head and ears buried in the bosom of  fantasy land.

  8. colorless.blue.ideas says

    Were a friend/acquaintance to call me a “facist”, my first response would be in a very severe, offended, and almost clipped tone:
    – “What did you call me?”
     
    Depending upon the answer, it would be followed by:
    – “You will apologize immediately for that insult.”
    – “Are you apologizing for insulting me?
     
    If no apology is forthcoming, then:
    – “You will never speak like that to me again.”
     
    Then, either, tell them to “Leave” (if it’s your space), turn your back on them and leave (if it’s their space or in public); if in a space where one can’t leave (e.g., in a car, then say nothing further except, in response to anything from them, something like, “You need to apologize for that insult”, remaining firm.
     
    Now, *after* an apology, then it might be worthwhile to getting into definitions:  asking them to *define* a fascist system.  But that’ll depend upon the situation.

  9. Mike Devx says

    Book says,

    > Some people are just a part of our lives. As Walter Cronkite used to say, “That’s the way it is.”

    I get that.  But I still don’t think I’d refer to them as my “friend”.  That’s disrespectful to your true friends!

    But on the other hand perhaps it’s best to be an optimist and call them your friend.  Even though their behavior towards you – in your case, Book, and another commenter or two above – certainly wouldn’t shout “friendly” to me!

    I have a friend who is a die-hard liberal.  We argue politics constantly.  I think he misrepresents my position frequently.  But we’d never attack each other personally.  The worst thing we’d say about each other personally would be something like missing the mountain for the molehill.   Especially we wouldn’t insult the other in front of others, in public.  We’d accuse each other of believing in solutions that don’t work.  That each of us is operating on faith, not proof.  But that’s because we don’t accept each others’ premises, and we agree about that much.  We agree that politics and economics are dismal sciences because CONVINCING proof is so hard to come by.

    He thinks his side has proven that FDR and Wilson were great presidents, I think our side has proven that both were terrible (and in fact that Wilson was a monster, whitewashed into some kind of progressive genius.)

  10. Bill Smith says

    “He thinks his side has proven that FDR and Wilson were great presidents…”

    One thing I found interesting in all the discussion about what a historic election this one was were the comparisons to the one in 1938 when the Republicans also swept away the democrats. Apparently the voters in 1938 had not yet read all the glowing accounts of how FDR saved the country from the Great Depression.

  11. Mrs Whatsit says

    Bookworm, have you given your “friend” a copy of Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” yet?  I don’t suppose s/he’d read it, but one can always hope.
    As a fairly recent refugee from liberalism, I have plenty of “friends” and relations like this.  Though I don’t remember any of them calling me names like that to my face, I am sure they think them.  The name-calling is so reflexive to them, they do it automatically and, because of their foundational belief that all those who are not liberal are evil, they take for granted that the recipients deserve whatever abuse they choose to dish out.
    I understand trying to preserve what’s valuable about the relationships you can’t simply end, and I also understand how deep-seated the need to remain civil and decent can be, even when confronted with the direct opposite.  However, I’ve been trying to teach myself to know when it’s time to stop being polite, and in my own relationships, being called a “Nazi” or a “Fascist” would be that time.  Years later, I still regret remaining polite to a pacifist “friend” who was harassing a military family member about the evils of war at a holiday party.  By hanging on to our tempers and our good manners while we extricated ourselves from the confrontation, our family provided cover for her complete lack thereof, and I regret it.  We should have yanked off her mask and made her accountable to our hosts and the other guests for her behavior  — maybe that would have forced her into a little reflection and self-awareness.
    Or maybe not.

  12. Bill Smith says

    You see, the thing that makes libs great artists, film makers, writers, etc. is their ability to create a made-up world. The problem is that they think that if they can imagine it, they can force it into being by pretending — acting as if — it IS real.
     
    They utterly forget all the cinematic tricks and techniques used to alter reality so that it appears as they want it to.
     
    “Universal Healthcare is a right!”
     
    “Oh, the VA is a wonderful example of universal health care!”
     
    No, it’s not. It takes something like 5 taxpayers to support one veteran’s health care (as well we should!). But, where are the 5 taxpayers who will support each of the 5 taxpayers if we actually do decide to pretend that free universal healthcare is possible — just because it’s such a nice idea?
     
    People love to announce that something is a “right.” Well, no. If this “right” requires the regular theft of one person’s labor for the benefit of another, then what happens when everyone shows up to collect their “rights,” and no one is left to bestow them?
     
    FDR and the dems made the Depression worse and longer with this kind of thinking, which is not thinking at all,but rather wishing and hoping and imagining.
     
    But, libs can’t see this. If you don’t share their vision of yellow brick roads and Utopia, YOU are a BAD person! If you are not wishing FOR it, why then you are obviously wishing against their wonderful, warm, fuzzy, beautiful imagined world, and it’s therefore OK to hate you, and call you hateful names. They are simply Superior Beings, and we are evil Morlocks. We are dream killers, and killing dreams is a terrible thing to do to a child, don’t you see.
    —————-
    This is not in response to #15 which was put up while I was writing and previewing this. But I heartily agree with #15!

  13. says

    Mrs. Whatsit:  That is precisely the case.  Leaving our political past behind doesn’t mean we leave our whole past behind.  And the fact is that, to liberals, personal attacks are an intrinsic part of political discourse.  Some are just more open than others.

    BTW, I very much like your screen name, which I assume is an homage to A Wrinkle in Time.

  14. Oldflyer says

    Your “friend” has a very innovative definition of Fascist.  Along the lines, perhaps, of: “One who espouses the concept of limited government and personal freedom.”
    It might be instructive to know this person’s definition of Libertarian, or Anarchist.
    I  expect the definition of Progressive might be: “One whose heart is in the right place”

  15. says

    “a friend called you this?”
    It’s the same person Book has been talking about before. I’d think it was Mr. Book given the frequency of encounters but I don’t think he’d go that far. I hope I’m right in that assessment. Although with the current election results, Mr. Book is probably very stressed right now and looking to take it out on others. That’s the Leftist Progressive way.
    “You see, the thing that makes libs great artists, film makers, writers, etc. is their ability to create a made-up world.”
    I wouldn’t agree with the description that they are great artists. I’ve actually seen great artwork, film making, and excellent writing. The libs do not create such. They create what I call plagiarism. They attempt to claim other people’s works as their own, except they can’t continue the story. They just make it up as they go along and hope the audience lacks the energy to spot the logical contradictions.
    Because the Left is best at making illusion and propaganda, they get a lot of their skillsets from Hollywood. So words become their reality and they see no reason why they can’t make Bookworm into a fascist just by calling her one. Words are real to them. More real than the real world. But that just means they believe their own propaganda, like certain death cults. That can be a benefit. But often it is a detriment. Hopefully a fatal one.
    Book,
    What you wrote reminded me of something that happened in the past. I was talking, over the phone you could say, with an acquaitance. We were discussing a team or two man task and he had a problem with my cautious approach. He wanted something more daring to go with his speed or tempo. The thing is, he didn’t have a firm thought of what it was he was describing, so instead of saying I was too cautious, he said what I was doing was too cowardly when attempting to phrase his criticism more accurately.

    I said: “What did you say. Did you just call me a coward”
    He said: “Oh, come on. Don’t make a big deal of it. Isn’t something…”
    I said: “No, hold on. I didn’t hear you clearly. What did you just call me?”
    He said: “…. some kind of mumble mumble for 5 seconds. Okay, I take it back.”

    Most of the communication had nothing to do with the actual wording. Most of it came in the tone. I was firm, assertive, and absolutely calm. Like the eye of a hurricane calm. He was stuttering, confused, and unsure of himself.
    I think, Book, it would be much more healthy for you to act to assert your private space more. But I also understand what limits you, given your social climate.
    I guess this puts me in a similar place with colorless.blue.ideas
    CBidea has a firm understanding and appreciation of personal space. Doesn’t sound like CBidea lets people trespass upon one’s rightful property.
    I’m sorry I couldn’t be there for you, Book. I could tell him off in a way that you could not, since I don’t know him and I don’t care whether he/she likes me or not.
    I affirm your existence and identity, Book, as well as the pure goodness in your heart, regardless of what anyone else says. And I duly apologize for the remarks of others that hurt you. I will apologize in their stead, because it is unlikely they will.
    Gomen Nazai
    When a child commits property crime, the one who bows their head to the police is the parent. (In Japan) This is the same principle really.

  16. says

    Btw, Leftists like Mayo and Obama don’t even know about the Delpi Method. It’s rather ridiculous that they then come up to our faces and try to tell us they know what we are “feeling”.
     
     

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